On June 17th 2019, the Mayor of Probolinggo successfully halted Writing Community (Komunlis) initiative of joint movie gigs: Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku/KTI (The Memories of My Body). Mimicking other city governments’ and fear of few groups rejection escalating shall this movie ever played in Probolinggo.
Religious leaders with fundamentalist views among that few rejecting groups may trigger public outrage which could cause public properties damage. Practically since KTI was aired nationally, it raised support over LGBT issues and difference of sexual orientation diversion.
Then again the journey of this movie were ceased on December 17th 2019 from representing Indonesia on 2020 Academy Awards as announced by Fourcolour, its production house official instagram. Generously thank all those supporting KTI made its way to The Annual 92nd Academy Awards thus far.
The 17th on both events above is relatable phenomenon connecting the two. The movie representation in an Oscar pre-selection filma has diverted public reactions driving them to theatres in major cities within to watch KTI and those feared started to flexibly accepting. These include those shadowed with hatred & imprisoned by local authorities’ dogmatic views changed their minds upon KTI recent international recognition. This confirms irreasonably proven public fears over ‘the others’ group.
I was reminded by my best buddy, Royyan Julian, for his speech at Christmas Celebration for GPIB “Mahkota Hayat” Church in Pamekasan – Madura representing muslim community & Gusdurian said that church life for him in Pamekasan is generallytera incognita, the unknown zone. The zone invites questions, curiousity & feared to enter.
This may similar to Juno’s lives in KTI as well. Of which sparks curiousity & public fears at the same ended up in prejudice and hatred – even before fully watching this movie in the first place.
Juno self-seeking identity journey marvellously depicted by the director, Garin Nugroho, of lengger male artistic dancer in Banyumas exquisitely portrayed by Rianto is ultimately common in public.
Moreover if discussed in the context of culture & arts. Gender switching from male to female or if stage-performed versus first-sexual identity in traditional performance arts such as Ludruk in villages specifically where I live become quite crowds-attraction. In 90’s, we werereminded by Tessy (male turned to female comedian) in Srimulat comedian group.
Heti Palestina Yunani in her essay titld Kemenangan Tubuh yang Trauma / The Winning of Traumatic Body (published by Jawa Pos newspaper on 15 December 2019), noted Garin’s winnings (in 2019 Indonesia Film Festival which also sent him to Oscar pre-selection in the same year) described Rianto feminine & masculine bodily journey is also an ultimate winning of idea. About how culture was born out of social formation as well as political influence and understanding that makes them.
Heti further said KTI is Rianto ultimate depiction of how body traumatic detachment learning process took place.
“People needs to learn the least not to say or express negative perception over male dancing in female outfit,” as Rianto said. Dancer’s outfit is nothing new & closely related to Indonesia long cultural history.
I’ve had the same experience (reads: irreasonable fears over ‘the other group’) when publishing my novel Rumah Ilalang. Despite about compassion & my auto-critics over ignorance of Christian community to those deceased without paying diaconia, the talks in book reviews always around the drag sexuality figure named Tabita. I need to apologize the audience as I will be explaining from scientic studies & empirical point of LGBT.
Such fear is reasonable. I personally thought since molestation case of dangdut singer, Saiful Jamil, homosexual damages nation’s generation became prominent. Society feared if thus could affect them or their loved ones. Until we learn the term of homophobia. Feared to those assumed homosexual. Moreover if molester is caught, they tend to assume such caused by same childhood experience. This devilish phobia is spiralling without further understanding.
Discussing ‘the other’ at the end of 2019, I was invited to literary event at Ralita FM radio station in Madura. Interestingly in off-air interview about ‘the other’, radio announcer thrown my book & refused to continue reading the illicit sexual content of this drag figure.
She said: “I might be like Hanung (Tabita father figure in Rumah Ilalang novel). I could accept if that (reads: LGBT) happen outside of my surroundings. But may not accept if that happens to my family. My child”
As I explained earlier many believes reason given by Saiful Jamil when caught after molestation. However, they’d not want to read or enrich their knowledge that surrounded by gays or had sexual molestation does not necessarily turn into gay. Human has free-will that latest research indicates being ”gay” is genetically imprinted within the body DNA.
I let my empirical experience empowered me instead after experiencing molestation by an ‘uncle’ when in high school even before turning 17. I never let myself to become a pedophille.
Then why should we afraid of Juno storyline? I conquer with Whany Darmawan, the manly-figure (warok) in KTI. He said few people make movies for entertainment but would it be wrong if movie is used as real portrayal of badly-ill society which unable to accept bodily difference & sexual orientation?
Published in Jawa Pos. Sunday, Januari 29th with tittled Mencumbtu Terra Incognita (Kissing Terra Incognita).